Vol. 1 No. 1 (2021): Beginnings
Articles

Nagyvárad at the Beginning of Parliamentarism: The Political Weight and Role of the Town in the Hungarian House of Representatives 1867−1918

Ákos Szendrei
University of Debrecen

Published 2021-05-29

Keywords

  • history of Nagyvárad,
  • town development,
  • demographical development,
  • electoral system,
  • members of Parliament

Abstract

In the final decades of the 19th century Nagyvárad became a progressive, dominant town in the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s Kingdom of Hungary. The town’s prosperity overlapped with the emergence of the Hungarian civil institutional system, the founding of modern parliamentarism. The question is whether the town played a role in the new Hungarian House of Representatives in proportion to its weight or not. To what extent did Nagyvárad have the opportunity to be represented in accordance with its interests? The study reviews the role of Nagyvárad in the House of Representatives from two perspectives. The first is that the city is represented by only one person in the House of Representatives consisting of 413 (later 415) members. We examine to what extent Nagyvárad stands out from the other towns with a single mandate (Arad, Temesvár, Hódmezővásárhely, Kassa, Pécs, Győr, etc.) and to what extent it would fit with towns with several mandates (Debrecen, Kolozsvár, Miskolc, Marosvásárhely, Brassó, Nagyszeben, etc.). In the second half of the study, we examine the individual weight, party affiliation, and quality of individuals representing the town. We find an answer to the question of whether Nagyvárad belonged to the ranks of pro-government or rather opposition towns. Finally, we present a short biography of the politicians.